July 19, 2017
An Afternoon in Murano, Italy

An Afternoon in Murano, Italy

July 19, 2017

While we were in Venice, I knew I wanted to see Burano. The colorful island that fills up Instagram feeds and Pinterest boards, I knew I couldn't be in Venice and not make a trip out to see it. Having said that, Murano was unfortunately put on the back burner. I have to be honest, I'm not huge on glass. Don't get me wrong, the glass-work on Murano is stunning and the best in the world, but if I had to choose between the two islands, I would pick Burano every time. But lucky for us, we had enough time for both!

From Venice, we took the water bus (vaporetto) out to Burano. I wanted to spend as much time there as possible, plus I'm pretty OCD about efficiency and since Burano is quite a bit farther than Murano, I didn't want to go "backwards" on our way back to Venice. Murano seems to be the more popular island. Back in Venice, tour guides would approach us asking if we wanted to go to Murano. Very rarely would they mention Burano. Murano is definitely closer to Venice and I think a lot of tourist like the whole glass thing. On the way to Burano, our bus stopped at Murano and over half of the bus got off at that stop. It was nice to know that Burano wasn't going to be as crowded and by the afternoon, most of the crowds would be gone in Murano.

After a wonderful morning and lunch in Burano (check back for that post), we took the water bus back to Murano and just like I predicted, most of the crowds were gone. If you are not a fan of crowds, this is the way to go but if you want to see any glass blowing demonstrations or attend any workshops, you will need to get there in the morning.


Murano, like Venice, is a series of islands linked by bridges. It sits in the Venetian Lagoon about a mile north of Venice. While it's not as colorful as Burano, it still has that Venetian charm. It reminds me a lot of Venice, but obviously on a smaller scale and the canals are wider so Murano feels more open. We didn't spend much time on the island but enough time to buy Murano Glass gifts for both our families and a Christmas ornament for ourselves. The detailing in the glass is quite exquisite. We did happen to walk into a shop where a lady was making some glass jewelry so we didn't quite miss all the action.

If you're interested in glass making or just need a break from Venice for a day, Murano is the island for you. Burano and Murano are both doable in one day so don't feel like you need to pick just one. I saw plenty of guided tours to Burano and Murano (and I think they add Torcello on some tours) but they're usually half day tours which means your time on each island limited. But if you don't want to spend an entire day away from Venice, tours like this half-day semi-private Murano/Burano boat tour would be the perfect option.

If you're heading to Venice soon, definitely add an extra day to your itinerary to visit some beautiful islands in the Venetian Lagoon. I promise, it's worth the trip! 

How to get to Murano from Venice:

Depending on where you are staying on the island, you can take the following ferries to the Murano Faro terminal: 3, 4.1, 4.2, 7, 12 and 13 (some of these will take you all the way to Burano as well)


Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you if you book a tour through these links.  

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July 17, 2017
10 Movies That Will Make You Want to Travel

10 Movies That Will Make You Want to Travel

July 17, 2017

I love movies. I love going to the theater and watching a blockbuster on the big screen. I love sitting on the couch under a blanket and watching a classic romantic comedy. I know television shows these days are giving movies a run for their money, especially juggernauts like Game of Thrones (who watched the season premiere last night?) but watching a good movie is still my first love.

For me, one of the best parts of watching a movie is getting to transport to a different place or time period for a couple of hours. After a couple of hours, you're back to reality and resuming your normal life. With television shows, I'm always wanting to know what happens next which isn't always a bad thing. Sometimes I will watch a mediocre movie just because of where it is filmed... how many of you are also guilty of that? I've done a couple of posts in the past about how I will pretty much watch anything filmed in New York City and London, but I'm also a sucker for any movie that takes me to places I've never been before or lets me revisits some of my favorite destinations. 

So here is a list of movies that inspires my wanderlust and makes me want to pack my bags and see the world!  

1 | EuroTrip

Scotty doesn't know! So don't tell Scotty! This is seriously one of my favorite movies and I'm not afraid to admit it. It's a pretty goofy movie, no doubt, but it does take you around Europe and you can't complain about that. From London to Berlin and a lot of places in between, I can't get enough of this cult favorite.
Countries Featured: England, France, Italy, German, Vatican City, The Netherlands and Slovakia

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2 | The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

This is one beautiful movie. I started writing this post this past weekend and it really made me want to rewatch this movie, so I did. It was just as good the 3rd 4th time around. It's nice seeing Iceland get some screen time as well, especially since it's been 14 years since I've been there. "To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life." 
Countries Featured: Greenland, Iceland and the Himalayas   

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3 | Eat Pray Love

Some people love this movie, some people hate it... I love it. I read somewhere that after this movie came out, there was in influx of people wanting to travel the world and write a book after a bad break up or divorce. While Elizabeth Gilbert's real life story isn't as glamorous, I still love the idea of traveling the world to find clarity, and for some, to find yourself.
Countries Featured: Italy, India and Indonesia 

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4 | Midnight in Paris

This would have to be my favorite Woody Allen movie (right before Match Point). You get to see so many sights from Paris and I just love the nostalgia theme. Just to be a fly on the wall during the 1920's with all those famous writers and artist would be oh so interesting.
Country Featured: France

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5 | Any Dan Brown Movie

If you have ever read any of Dan Brown's books, you know he has a thing for Italy and the Vatican City. His books (and movies based on his books) are adventures that take you through some beautiful countries while trying to solve some interesting mysteries. Before our trip to Italy, we watched Inferno which featured Florence and Venice. It got us excited for our trip... minus the whole "trying to kill everyone" thing.  
Countries Featured: France, Vatican City, England, Scotland and Italy

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6 | Into the Wild

This is definitely not your "feel good" movie but sometimes you just need to watch a movie like this. Even though I couldn't really relate to Chris McCandless, I still felt for him and Sean Penn did a great job of putting his story on the big screen.
Countries Featured: The United States and Mexico

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7 | The Hundred-Foot Journey

Lyndon actually introduced this movie to me. We watched it one day when Houston was flooded and no one could get to work. This movie actually introduced us to uni (sea urchin). We finally tried it at a seafood restaurant in Houston and it was just "eh". Actually, we both did not like it, oh well. This movie features small town living in France and incredible food, how can it go wrong?
Countries Featured: India and France

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8 | The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 1 and 2

Who doesn't love a movie about friendship and jeans that fit perfectly? I honestly didn't think I would like this movie, but I actually enjoyed it and the sequel. Plus, all those beautiful scenes in Greece! Swoon!
Countries Visited: Turkey, Greece, Mexico and the United States

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9 | The Holiday

Back in 2006, the idea of swapping houses sounded so foreign to me. Today, my go-to place to stay when traveling is staying at a complete stranger's house. This holiday romantic comedy is the perfect blend of city life and small town living. On a sad note, that cute English cottage was totally built for this movie and they only built the exterior.
Countries Visited: England and the United States

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10 | Out of Africa

I have something to admit, Lyndon and I actually never finished Out of Africa. In our defense, it is a pretty slow moving movie but with our upcoming trip to Africa at the end of this year, I just had to add it to the list. Even though Kenya isn't on our itinerary, it looks like such a beautiful country from the movie.
Countries Featured: Denmark and Kenya

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I know there are tons of other movies out there that I am missing but I only wanted to feature movies I have seen. Please let me know what other movies I should check out! I'm always down for a good Friday movie night.


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July 10, 2017
The Beauty of Florence | Part II

The Beauty of Florence | Part II

July 10, 2017

Around every corner, I found myself staring at another picturesque view of Florence. The city is magical, plain and simple. I'm glad I got to experience this beautiful city for myself, and now I truly understand all you Florence lovers out there. 

If you missed Part I, you can find it here. I told you I went a little snap-happy, but can you blame me? From charming streets to stunning rooftops, Florence had it all. I am so glad Aiden and I got to walk around this beautiful city and with no real deadline rushing us. We had dinner reservations that evening but the afternoon was ours. I knew we couldn't get lost so we just started walking, and it turned out to be a wonderful mother-son afternoon.

I am a planner and as much as I would love to be "spontaneous", I love to make lists, spreadsheets, you name it. Before our trip, I knew our time in Florence would be short (but sweet). We could spend one night in the city but our tickets to The Last Supper would eventually take us back to Milan fairly early the next day. Because of this, I planned for us to see all the sites we could the morning we arrived, which gave us the afternoon with no real plans (for once). It was nice and something I should "plan" more often! 

So join me as I continue along my visual stroll of Florence.


Missed Part I? You can check it out here!

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